Look closely at the above picture of my childhood friend Cheryl and I taken when we were two years of age. This is, I admit, a brief moment in time, however, I take the liberty of speculating that the pensive expression on my face suggests my life’s work.

Cheryl, on the left, looks so joyful and open while I appear to be pondering life’s mysteries. I can imagine my mind being occupied, wondering what is going on and what is making Cheryl so darn happy? This looks like the expression of a budding psychotherapist.

In the above picture, Mom wrote on the back that I was 3 but according to the date she recorded, I was actually almost 4 years of age. In this photo, I look a bit more open and happy but I am hanging on for dear life to the porch railing. I felt this way part of the time when I was seeing clients. Can I hold on to my own way of knowing and share that in ways that will be healing?

My daily life no longer requires these expressions because I am retired, but I think if you saw me most days, I would look about the same. I still want to understand the human mind. Sigmund Freud and I have a lot in common as that also was his driving passion.

Since closing my office, I’ve been working on a memoir to describe how my treatment in Freudian psychoanalysis helped to change my mind in ways that made it more likely that I would smile like my friend Cheryl.

Before the pandemic, I reconnected with her and could feel my smile beaming from my own face when I met her still gorgeous smile. Friends from our past know us in ways that we can trust.

I wondered what my high school friend the naturalist, Carl Kurtz, would say when I asked him to read my memoir and write a blurb. It turns out his words normalize my facial expressions:

“Fear of the unknown and our courage and strength to face and overcome it seems to be part of every person’s life. This memoir helps us to see that while the answer may be simple, the journey to get there is not.”

We are undoubtedly encountering a paradox when I indicate that parts of our personalities never change and then write a memoir detailing how I changed.

Yes – it most certainly is a paradox because both things are true: some things never change and things change. I’ve always been a serious, contemplative type of person. That hasn’t changed. But the way I am serious and contemplative has changed because of my decade in psychoanalysis. I hope when you read Fear, Folly & Freud: A Psychotherapist in Psychoanalysis, that you will tune into your basic essence and discover how you still embody it and then tune into ways you might like to change. It is never too late.

My hope is that you can connect with friends you used to cherish. You may use this link to connect with my memoir:https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Folly-Freud-Psychotherapist-Psychoanalysis/dp/173339821X/

I’d love to hear from you. Can you identify which part(s) of YOU continue to be present and how you might like to adjust them to enrich your life. I’d love to know!


6 Responses

    • Hi Diane – You are correct that the official launch is on October 10! Surprised that you could remember with a move in your future! Impressive. Thanks for the best wishes and thanks for promise to order & read! Music to my ears!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  1. Hi Nicky,

    Here’s a memory – no pic to document – that shows two persistent qualities of mine.

    I was nine years old, babysitting 4 younger brothers – one an infant. Chaos always broke out among my brothers as soon as the parents left the house – my folks ran a tight ship and the rod was not spared. I was sweeping the floor (first quality, clean freak) in the midst of all the screaming and running, when I suddenly found myself about to smash the broom onto the head of the oldest brother. But when I saw him cowering on the floor, his arms up like Saul on the road to Damascus, I stopped and said to myself, “No! You are not going to be that kind of person.”

    (Second quality, empathic pacifist.) I guess that’s how my brothers knew I would never tattle on them. My girlfriend since kindergarten says this is also why I never had kids of my own.

    • Hi Chris!
      Thanks for checking in – much appreciated. Your examples are so clear and make me smile at their accuracy.
      Isn’t it amazing that your drive for cleanliness and your bent towards empathy has been so strong since you were 9?
      And that makes me think of your Enneagram type – a 9!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Love the photos and tge story, Nicky. I so look forward to your memoir!

    I think I am still the same as I was in many ways, as you. Kind of serious, curious and kind. 😊

    • Thanks, Isidra for letting me know that you and are sisters of sorts – serious and curious!

      And thank you for the kind words about the post and that you want to read my memoir!

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